Showing posts with label NEW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NEW. Show all posts

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Pandemic 2020


The pink blossom and yellow daffodils are now out: the days are longer, brighter and hopeful of renewal. Spring opens and warmer breezes fill the air. As if by some strange irony, the world news is filled with a deepening gloom with this coronavirus - with lockdowns, deserted streets, death tolls, empty shelves. People must now work from home. And I worry for our frontline medical workers and that the NHS will be unable to cope.

We were fooled believing somehow we were protected, when in our interconnected world disease spreads even faster. France, Italy and Spain are now in lockdown in this fast moving situation. Many businesses  will be hit – first tourism: flights, hotels, restaurants, bars;  retail; culture and the arts, with theatre, museums, cinema, festivals, concerts - all closing. While some businesses are essential and will keep going – food, medical, drugs, energy.
Young people and children may mostly be okay, so life will continue. For those over 60, they must work at home and self–isolate. Why were the UK schools kept open so long as a babysitting service, when most other countries have closed schools? Children may not be getting as ill, but schools are major places of spreading viruses. Many school staff and children have been staying away, so schools weren’t functioning properly.

There is an eerie, unfamiliar silence, as people prepare for the worst of times ahead, with oddly empty shelves, grounded aircraft, silent airports and train stations and quiet city streets. I’m glad on Monday that the UK government changed its tac after Imperial College London advised them that their “washing hands and carry on” policy advice of last week wasn't enough.

My two older children are frontline hospital doctors, so I won't be able to see them. I'm worried too about what they are going to have to deal with soon. It makes us all realise who the important workers really are - and many are women and the carers. Can we have a rethink about what capitalism is really all about? It all feels like being in one of those catastrophic movies that we might have foreseen. I’ve heard odd things being said on the tv - one BBC commentator said, "its not often we see health emergencies like this!"

Now is the time to think urgently about planning Scotland’s supplies. Most of our food and more comes via long trucks that trundle all the way over from Dover, and then on long haul motorways all the way through England. How can we gain practical independence this way? Scotland used to have many busy ports to the Americas, Ireland and Europe – via the shipping ports of Ayr, Irvine, Glasgow Leith, now all silted up. If we depend on food from England, we cannot be truly independent.

When we see what is happening in Italy, where the over worked doctors are unable to cope and its likely the scenes in Italy will repeat here. The English have this odd sense that somehow they are protected, that they are uniquely special. I fear we in the UK have learnt no lessons and are acting far too slowly. On the news last night people in London were packing themselves into shops and tube trains: one lady even claimed she was out and about because she wasn’t going to let this virus defeat her! Sorry but this virus has never heard of the Dunkirk spirit! Clearly some people pay no attention to any news items. Britain may be an island but in todays interconnected world we will not be immune.

Thank goodness for the internet and being able to keep in touch! How was life before? Among it all the Italians continue to sing. Life will never be the same again.


Tuesday, 12 March 2019

NEW BBC Scotland channel!


The Nine News team,Rebecca Curran and Martin Geissler
Launched 24th February 2019, with one of the most successful Scots band Chvrches and the song 'Miracles'.
So far a promising start – well done to all! Clearly a lot of thought has gone into the channel.

I welcome Debate Night much more enjoyable, honest and real than the QT, which brazenly tries to stir up unnecessary controversy – rather than looking for consensus and on how we can move forward. Plus a quality series on the Yes/No Referendum in 2014.

The Nine
The new flagship news program top marks too with presenters Rebecca Curran and Martin Geissler. A welcome return of political correspondent James Cook. And shows the breath of talent in Scotland, well able to present international and national news from both Scottish and international perspectives.   
CHVRCHES
There Nine News program with various correspondents in London, Brussels, and other locations. The show is projecting a relaxed format and looks promising so far. 

The schedule is mixed. I believe it's crucial Scotland has its own TV channel so I wish the new channel good fortunes. Catalonia has 4 tv channels - two news channels, an entertainment channel and a family channel.  I am concerned too that the Scottish license money is around £350m, yet only £32m is being spent on this channel. Much more is spent in Wales, England (over 100%) and Northern Ireland (75%) by comparison. Scotland (55%).   (Virgin 108)

BBC Scotland - https://www.bbc.co.uk/welcome-to-your-brand-new-television-channel-bbc-scotland